Every undergraduate needs downtime and to be able to enjoy their entire University experiences as well as going there to study. Trust me, being in my third year scared me senseless and I was more than grateful to have time out and time to remember that yes I had studies to do but I also knew that I needed this time to take a step out and enjoy myself.
FreshersFest18 was my final freshers week for the foreseeable. It’s crazy to even think about and I will miss Freshers at DMU. My freshers week was special each year. £55 seems like a lot of money for the fresher’s wristband and if you think of it logically, it is and it may not be worth the price. However, you are a student and it is part of your University experience to buy a freshers wristband and enjoy the week’s events. Purchase it and get started on University life with a bang and save up for the rest of the year.
Here, let me share events from my last freshers week as part of my final undergraduate adventure…
OPENING PARTY – O2 ARENA
FreshersFest18 kicked off with the opening party at the O2 Arena in Leicester, I had been there for the past two years on freshers week for the opening parties so I knew that it was fully accessible and a lot of fun. I could get on to more than one of the floors and enjoy the club. But I enjoyed staying on one floor as it played my favourite type of music to dance to during the night. I just generally enjoy the night despite how busy and cramped it became and I enjoyed having a few drinks and seeing my fellow students from DMU there at the party as well.
MYUNIPAL CINEMA NIGHT – THE GREATEST SHOWMAN
Having had such a good time at the opening party the night before and with the fresher’s ball coming up, I really wanted to just relax and have a quiet night so I would feel refreshed. Thinking about what to do, I caught sight of a cinema night DMU was going to put on of The Greatest Showman on a big screen on campus. I hadn’t seen this film in a long time and it was an alternative to going to a bar or club for the night. The night was very popular and there were limited spaces when I arrived, students were sat on benches, on tables, on the floor huddled in duvets and blankets. The night was very fun and well-needed downtime.
FRESHERS BALL – ATHENA
On the previous two years, the fresher’s ball was the highlight of my freshers weeks and was at the accessible club of Athena in Leicester. It was a great club full of my favourite dance music and spaces I could use to socialise with friends while having a great view of the stage where DJs and other singers perform. Unfortunately, the freshers’ ball this year wasn’t as good as previous years but it was a good night full of some of my favourite music tracks and I had a good night with my carer, Hermione and my newly found friends as we had a few drinks and enjoyed the vibes of the night.
I enjoyed the activities fair this year, though I knew the majority of the clubs and societies to join, I still liked going to go to this fair and see some of my friends and also see what new societies were available to sign up to that year. Already having to work as the producer of the Demon Chart Show, I was already part of Demon Media, but I still went to the stall to catch up with friends and see if I wanted to join any other strands of the society while I was there. I loved having the chance to be on Demon FM as it is my passion, but I also become part of The Demon magazine writing for the entertainment section of the magazine and online platform in particular. I also signed up to become apart of the Blogging Society and the Harry Potter Society which I was a part of last year and two new societies, the Demon Crew related to socialising other creative writers to expand my writing knowledge and experiences and finally the DMU film club, which I kept my eyes peeled for the upcoming film events they were hosing, but sadly I didn’t have very much time to be a part of these societies as I would have liked too. I was to busy with my studies and my participation in Demon Media, but I honestly didn’t mind; I had a great year.
Student Lock-In – Highcross Shopping Centre 2018
As it was my third year and I hadn’t yet been in the previous two years, I decided to attend Student Lock-In at Highcross Shopping Centre which was not only happening in Leicester, but all at student orientated cities around the city. There were endless promotions for this night and I decided to go this year as it would be possibly the last chance I could go and seize ahold of all the discounts that were on offer -I cannot resist a bargain. The night was very busy and even though my friends and I got there early, we had to join a very long queue and wait before we could get ticked off the pre-booked list and get in. Upon receiving a list of shops where student discounts were active, we weaved around to crowds to browse shops at our leisure. I found that all of the shops had some really good deals in aid of the student lock-in at Highcross and this put me in a really good mood to shop, taking advantage of the student deals on offer. I had a good night and came away with a number of purchases including a book series ‘Darkest Minds’ which I had been wanting to get for such a long time and read thoroughly, enjoying the story every time.
DMU’s Halloween Ball 2018
At the end of October, I decided to attend DMU’s Halloween Ball with my group of friends, dressing in the same outfit I dressed in for the zoo party during freshers week. I loved the excuse to dress up in costumes and doing my make up for fancy dress parties and enjoy a night out. I chose to wear the exact same outfit that I planned to wear to the zoo party; a black vest top and a short leopard print skirt with black leggings underneath, Hermione then completed my look by adjusting my make up so I had leopard spots on my face to match my skirt and then Hermione dressed up as a scary horror clown which I found very frightening but the makeup was very impressive. After having pre-drinks with a number of our flatmates, we all headed to the Halloween party as a group. The party was hosted in the SU club which was newly refurbished and played a number of different styles of music for us all to enjoy, and we began ordering a lot of drinks and danced through the night. The Halloween party was really fun and we really enjoyed ourselves, drinking and dancing. There were very inventive costumes at the party, maybe I am biased but I think Hermione’s was the best. Both fuelled by alcohol we danced to loud music, the whole night. I am not surprised I had a pounding headache the next day.
HARRY POTTER PARTY! – LETSDISKO
Hermione and I were enjoying the freshers opening party at the 02 Academy back in freshers week when I saw a big bright poster promoting a LETSDISKO event that 02 Academy Leicester in November that was Harry Potter themed. The event came very fast and I saw the party was perfectly aligned with the release of the second Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them film the next day. On the night of the party, the party bus that people can usually catch to the 02 Academy in Leicester was replaced by a Hogwarts Express. Unfortunately, I could not board it because I couldn’t transfer out of my wheelchair which was very disappointing. Those attending the party dressed in their house colours, Hermione dressed in her Slytherin jumper and black leggings, pure and loyal to her house until the end, I decided to dress in a Ravenclaw t-shirt and my Gryffindor Hogwarts cloak over the top as I have both Gryffindor and Ravenclaw traits in me! The event was absolutely packed and within the clubs were four rooms, each dedicated to the four Hogwarts houses; Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin. As the whole club was accessible, Hermione and I were able to use the lift and spend time in the rooms dedicated to Gryffindor, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. During the night, there was a themed Hogwarts drinks menu for people to enjoy; including Butterbeer vodka slushies and I must admit that I got very tipsy on these themed drinks. There were also a lot of Harry Potter giveaways throughout the night, including life-size Harry Potter cutouts of the characters, themed Harry Potter masks, Harry Potter glasses and magic wands! To complete the night, the club screened the Harry Potter films in all four of the rooms throughout the night.
Christmas Lights Switch On, Leicester 2018
With Christmas approaching, I went to the Christmas lights switch-on at Highcross Shopping Centre Leicester, it had been a long and stressful term and it was a great chance to let my hair down. The event was very crowded, hundreds of people had come out to see the Christmas lights being switched on around Highcross, allowing everyone to get in the Christmas mood. The very tall, fluorescent wheel had been in Leicester city centre for weeks and this along with an ice rink was decorated for the Christmas festivities. The Christmas lights switch-on centred around the main stage at Humberstone Gate with live music and entertainment such as a performance by X Factor winner Sam Bailey alongside her co-stars of De Montfort Hall’s latest pantomime, Peter Pan which was going to be performed on stage later in the year, kept the crowds energised throughout the night. There was also a small range of stalls in the main square including food stalls outside Highcross shopping centre for people to visit while enjoying the music that was played between performances of Christmas carols. This all built up to the big moment, the Christmas light switch on itself, done by Lord Mayor of Leicester Ross Grant and joined by ITV Central’s Matt Teale and Santa Claus himself. By the end of the night, I was frozen to the bone, but definitely in the Christmas mood!
Harry Potter Quiz – Walkabout, Leicester
Possibly the last student event I went to in my third year was the Harry Potter quiz at Walkabout Leicester. Hermione and I decided to test our knowledge against other Harry Potter fans to see how our knowledge and expertise levelled up. Straight away from when you entered the bar it was definitely Harry Potter orientated and had a magical feeling and everyone was psyched up and ready to go, there were also themed drinks and sweets to go with the evening. There was a cocktail crafted for each house; the Gryffindor themed cocktail was made out of apple and cherry sourz with apple, cranberry and raspberry puree, Ravenclaw, a deep blue cocktail that was mystically refreshing, blue curari, barcode, Malibu and lemonade served with a slice of lime, Hufflepuff was concocted with barcadi white and spiced rum shaken with pineapple and orange juice and finally the Slytherin cocktail made out of green midori, gordons gin, apple juice and lime. As much as I wanted to try the Ravenclaw cocktail I wasn’t very keen on the ingredients so instead, I enjoyed the Gryffindor cocktails which a fruity and had a nice tang to them. Hermione, however, stayed true to her house and had a Slytherin cocktail which she very much enjoyed.
Naming ourselves ‘Siriusly Potter Mad (Eye Moody)’, Hermione and I were raring to go and compete to be the ultimate Harry Potter champions. Everyone had the same goal so it was very competitive and you could definitely feel it in the atmosphere. It was clear that a lot of pre-planning had gone in the event and the quizmaster’s energy definitely rubbed off on the rest of us, we were worse able to show rivalry between the teams competing without it getting too overheated in order for the quiz to be built on higher steaks and allow us all to become more competitive. Having brushed up on all of the seven books and eight films prior to the quiz, we were ready to put our Harry Potter knowledge and expertise to the test. The quiz contained a mix of easy questions and and more complex questions to shake the competition up and make sure we were paying close attention throughout, I had to listen to the questions very carefully as we had to make sure that we gave the correct answer according to the films or the books, these were very tricky as you were immediately going to write down one answer before you hear the full questions. A number of questions I was able to answer straight away but then I was kicking myself when I couldn’t remember or got a question wrong, but I suppose I couldn’t get every question right! I still had a lot to brush up on the next time I watched the Harry Potter films or read the books. The different rounds of the quiz are alternated between question rounds, picture rounds or guess the quote rounds which was definitely fun as some Harry Potter fans may find their strengths in different areas of the Harry Potter world. Hermione and I definitely enjoyed the quiz is and we gained 60 points for the team, putting us in joint third place which was good considering we were only a team of two competing against tables of six or seven people. I would definitely recommend this quiz at Walkabout Leicester as well as other themed quizzes. I now read Harry Potter books and watch the Harry Potter films on a regular basis and participate in online Harry Potter quizzes to make sure my knowledge is accurate and quick for any future Harry Potter quizzes that I might participate in.